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Skaneateles BOE adopts 2009-10 budget

The Skaneateles Board of Education adopted its proposed 2009-10 budget during the board meeting on Wednesday April 22.

Assistant Superintendent and business manager Dale Bates said the total spending in set at $29,231,236 -- a 4.74 percent increase over last year's budget, or $1,321.929.

Much of the budget-to-budget increase is because of debt service for Project 2007. The funds from the project have caused an increase in the 2009-10 budget of $986,472.

"If we didn't have that additional debt service coming on ... we'd be looking at a one percent increase," Bates said.

Along with the budgetary increase, taxpayers will see a 3.05 percent increase in the tax levy. According to Bates, the increase is less than it has been in the past.

Despite the budget increase, there have been 10 percent reductions in equipment and supplies across the board. Cuts also include reducing the number of assistant coaches, a reduction in the number of modified sports teams, eliminating a computer technician, reducing a clerical position in the business office from full-time to 50 percent, elimination of the challenge course coordinator, elimination of five special education teacher aides based on changes in student placement, elimination of the elementary swim/skate program and reduction in the number of cell phones on the district plan.

"The budget process has been a little more difficult this year because of the state aid issues and the fact that we were told we were going to take a big cut in aid," Bates said.

The school district's aid is up 2.7 percent, but Bates said it's all building aid as a result of the current building project. The amount of general aid the district is receiving has remained flat.

When residents go to the polls on May 19, they will not only be faced with voting on the budget, but also with one proposition, which is the purchase of two school buses at a cost not to exceed $198,000.

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